Thursday, December 22, 2011

What They'll Wear

My biggest fear when it came to choosing bridesmaids dresses was that my lovely ladies would loathe my choice. Honestly, I'm still worried about it. My five maids represent a wide range of style choices, so finding one frock to embrace all of those different opinions made me feel pretty nauseous. The only things I knew for sure was that I wanted them to be gray, I wanted them to be short, and I didn't want them to be dupioni silk. I also knew I wanted each girl to have a chance to express themselves a bit and not be too matchy matchy. I took my little sister with me try some on, and we both ended up with the same favorite - something that isn't a naturally common occurrence, so I knew we'd chosen a winner. I instructed my 'maids to also pick out a pair of bronze-ish peeptoe pumps to complement the look, and I'll decorate them with cluster earrings and a different cocktail ring each. So, how did we do?

Saturday, December 17, 2011


This week we finished mailing our Save the Dates (yep, we gave all of our loved ones an STD). I was so excited about how they turned out. My sweet photography intern gifted us with an engagement session, and another talented friend gifted us with the design. I couldn't wait to hear the feedback since the fella and I love them so much, and it's been nothing but wonderful. I still have to pinch myself that in less than four months I'll have the honor of being Mrs. The Fella.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Inedibles

It's no secret that I'm a sucker for finger foods. I would rather eat my weight in cheese and crackers, Goldfish, and appetizers than a full meal. So I guess it shouldn't come as a surprise that my eager spirit to dip my hand into a bowl of munchies would, at some point, become a liability. In fact, not just once, but thrice...

1. While at the fella's parents' house, he grabbed a bowl and made a trip into the pantry. As he exited the closet of tasty delights, he shook the bowl and held it out to me. Excited to have snacks offered to me I immediately reached in, grabbed a morsel and popped it in my mouth, and cringed. "BABE!" the fella exclaimed, "That's dog food! I just wanted you to put it on the floor." Thoroughly embarrassed, I quickly spit the kibble back in the bowl, silently counting my blessings that I wouldn't have to pretend that my future mother-in-law had invented a savory and delicious new treat.
2. I stopped by my parents' house the other day to drop a few things off for Little. She wasn't home when I swung by, so I opted to scrounge through the house to create a delicious (free) lunch. After prepping my whole wheat naan, hummus and feta, I decided I needed a sweet bite to finish it off. Sitting on the counter was a cookie jar filled with small chocolate rounds topped with peanut butter. Excitedly, I threw two in my mouth and crunched down. Foiled again! Chocolate-peanut butter goodies quickly turned into puppy training biscuits upon a taste bud examination. Trust me, even the sweetest dog biscuit does not equal a dessert.

3. To improve the atmosphere of the production studio of the church campus I oversee, I asked my intern to pick up some niceties, including reed diffusers, lamps, etc. When I entered the studio the following weekend I was ecstatic to find two small bowls full of my favorite Gummy Bear flavor - that pineapple-ish, semi-clear one? How sweet of my intern to know those were my favorite. With an odd amount of flourish I tossed two in my mouth and nearly cracked four teeth as a I bit down on the scented rocks, posing as... well, scented rocks. Upon closer inspection it was clearly that these were dummy gummies.

One would suppose that after my first, um, slip up, I would be more observant about what I was eating before I actually tried to ingest it, but, that would be a poor supposition.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Not a Creature Was Stirring... EXCEPT For a Mouse

I was so excited to decorate my condo for Christmas with the fella this year. Last year I didn't decorate at all, and with the hustle and bustle that working for a church brings around Christmas, I woke up on Christmas Day wanting to start the season over and relish it. I knew this year would be different, and I would spend every moment soaking up the holiday. It was also fun (although, a little touchy, if I'm honest, from time to time) to combine our traditions, ornaments and miscellaneous Christmas decor. There were definitely a few moments of tension deciding whose to use and whose to toss, but thankfully we compromised over a lovely glass of wine and pushed through and got to work.

As we pulled out a skinny faux tree of the fella's to adorn the foyer, I saw something small and furry drop onto my living room floor. "That's a mouse!" I shrieked... more out of amusement than terror. A mad scramble ensued with the fella trying to trap the mouse, me trying to restrain Sadie and find a bowl or cup to house the little critter... all while I laughed hysterically. When we finally restrained and contained our new friend we rushed it outside to find a new home in my flower beds. The fella quickly followed with the tree and discovered a nest of the rodent variety consuming an entire side of the tree that had previously been stored in his shed. As he batted the nest into the bushes we heard an ominous squeak and discovered yet another mouse being housed inside. We noticed quickly that both of the mice appeared to be babies.I wondered aloud where the momma might be. "Well," the fella mused, "probably my car since the tree has been in there.." I nodded that he might be right. Slowly, however, my nodding and laughter turned to head shaking and a groan as I realized that in actuality, the tree had been housed in my car. Nothing says "Our First Christmas" like mouse droppings and phantom squeaks ringing through my vehicle. Cheers, y'all!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Family Feast

While belated, this photo recap of my Thanksgiving says it all... family (mine + the fella's = a full house at my parents'), laughter, So. Much. Food.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


The Friday before Thanksgiving my parents threw the fella and me a glorious engagement soiree. We toasted and celebrated with some of our closest friends with a "Confections and Cocktails" party. We had tasty desserts, flowing wine and bubbling prosecco. I swathed myself in gold sequins and soaked in each moment of the wedding season kick-off.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

It's a Date

Sunday night is a dedicated date night for the fella and me, as I believe I've mentioned before. This morning I found the greatest tool to enhance these romantic and rejuvenating evenings. has piqued my interest before with their $25 gift cards for $10. As I was perusing the selection, I decided to check and see if they were listed on Ebates. Sure enough, they promised 30% cash back and a valuable coupon code for an additional 80% off the gift card price. Want to know how I racked up?
$25 to our favorite Thai restaurant
$25 to an excellent, upscale Indian restaurant
$25 to a swanky Uptown eatery
$50 to a mediterranean wine loft
Grand Total... $9.00. Yep, $125 worth of date night bucks for single digit dollars. Best ever. Can't wait to hit the town with my love!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Aggressive Recognition

I get incredibly excited when I see someone that I know out in public. Even if it's not someone I particularly care for, my instinct is to excitedly wave, shout out their name and engage in some small talk. Perhaps it's an off-shoot of my need for people's approval. How popular must I be to engage in multiple conversations whilst out and about during my daily errands?

Unfortunately, the downside of assuming you will know everyone and that they'll be thrilled to see you is the occasional miscue. A couple of weeks ago in Harris Teeter, I approached a woman and bear hugged from behind thinking it was an old friend. Notsomuch. She assured me it was okay and continued with her meat order.

This weekend, I had the lovely pleasure of my old friend and bridesmaid, Georgia Peach, staying with my to celebrate our engagement party. On Sunday morning I met Georgia at a local cafe for Sunday brunch after church and saw her waiting for me in line. I approached slowly, wrapped my arms around her neck, and nuzzled her a bit. When I felt her stiffen, I backed away and realized that the object of my affection wasn't, in fact, my sweet Peach but rather a stranger who looked more than peeved and ready to mace me.

Clearly, there is a time and place for guerilla affection, but that is not, I have discovered, in public places approaching people from behind.

Friday, November 11, 2011


This morning at 9:30 my personal training made me try a couple of swigs of chocolate wine in between push ups and abs. It was every bit as incredible as you're imagining. Best endorphins I've ever gotten from a workout. Ever.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Admittedly, the title of "wife" carries an incredible weight with me. I've always been a great girlfriend, and, as it turns out, I've got the fiancee thing down pretty well. The obligation I feel as the fella's wife is considerable, and something that I welcome with open arms, with the knowledge that I'll feel an overwhelming responsibility to be a wonderful partner for the man whose life I'm pledging my own to. Part of the way, I've realized, that I can prepare for this major life transition - and that I can be best able to serve him selflessly - is to learn to take care of myself and manage my own life well.

I constantly feel the need to do-do-do and go-go-go... from juggling an insanely hectic and harried work schedule, to maintaining my own side business, continually pouring into my family, actively staying plugged into friendships, I feel the pull of many different roles and hats - as many of us do. I realize that there are days, if not weeks, at a time that I don't spend one second intentionally inhaling, exhaling, being. I manage my sizable stress and anxiety well, but when I hit a wall, it's at 120 mph, and the debris can scatter far and wide.

The best thing I can do before entering my marriage is to learn how to take those breaths, prioritize myself and decompress healthily. Today on my to-do list, I included, "RELAX." Odd, but helpful. After a whirlwind day at the office, fast and furious workout, quick stop by Little's accessory showcase (delightful swig of prosecco included, natch), some rah-rah-rahs in the stands of the fella's softball game and squeezing in a quick bite to eat, I settled in to teach myself to relax.
The first step was to tackle some laundry (a strange step in the process, but a great way to ease my anxiety about household chores being behind), then to pour myself a glass of wine, break off a square of Ghiradelli extra dark chocolate, run a hot bath, grab the newest Marie Claire out of my to-read mail pile and sink into the tub. I forced myself to stay in the bath for 12 minutes (10 seemed too cursory but 15 seemed impossible). I set a timer for myself and coached myself to sip, read, luxuriate and repeat. Magically the final 7 minutes melted away as I sunk deeper into my tub (the first 5 seemed an eternity and extremely wasteful).

I was fabulously energized to tackle my next big project - cleaning my closet. With a new mindset of taking care of myself, I quickly filled six bags with old clothing and shoes and swiftly began emptying my bathroom cabinets as well. I'm in bed now with an insane sense of accomplishment. I still have so much to do to ready my condo for the fella to move in (we refuse to live together pre-marriage), but I learned so much about myself tonight. Active, productive tasks can be counted as relaxation exercises when paired with passive, indulgent ones. There are still many, many, many things I can learn before officially becoming a wife, but I'm excited to spend the next five months getting reacquainted with myself, so that I can be the best version of "for better or worse" when I become Mrs. The Fella.

Monday, November 7, 2011

To the 'Moon and Back

With most of our major wedding decisions made, we're carving out time to discuss the honeymoon. We knew early on that we wanted a location that was tropical and out of the country... if you remember back to late May before we departed as a family to Turks & Caicos we jumped through mega hoops to secure the fella a passport, and we want to put it to good use, dang it! We also wanted to find a locale that afforded us the option be active when we wanted and relaxed and lazy when we wanted. Another 'moon criteria was a short travel time. To us, there's not much worse than having to dedicate two full days of a trip to travel. Finally, we don't want to break the bank in order to, ummm, consummate things and enjoy one another.

Enter... COSTA RICA!!! We are so excited to plan our honeymoon now that we've decided on our destination. A mere two and a half direct flight from Charlotte, Costa Rica boasts active city life, remote rain forest and pristine beaches, and we can't wait to partake of it all. We'll depart our wedding and spend the night at the Ritz in town, then board a plane to La Rica, as I have just this second opted to call it. We'll spend a night in San Jose, two nights in a honeymoon cabin in a rain forest lodge (hiking and zip lining are a must on my list) then the remainder of the time we'll be at Tamarindo Beach where we can lounge, surf and be together. Have any of you been to Costa Rica? Is it as magical as we're picturing?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sayin' Cheese

A couple weeks ago the fella and I had our engagement pictures taken by my intern who happens to be an incredibly talented photographer. We're trying to be as budget conscious as possible (which seems to be fairly impossible while planning a wedding), so we were thrilled and honored that this sweet girl gifted us with this session. We'll be incorporating some of our favorites into a Save The Date being designed by another talented friend. Here's a peek at some of the shots.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Making a List. Of Presents. For Ourselves.

The registry.

It is muy fun to pick out presents for other people to buy you. It is also muy overwhelming to create a home for yourself and your fiance armed with a laser gun.

We actually had a blast picking out pieces that will adorn the next many, many years of our lives together. I didn't expect to be so excited about china or crystal, but, lo and behold, after being briefed on the importance of said dishes by a terrifying East German registry Nazi at Belk, I fell in love with our choices (Lenox Vintage Jewel for the finery and Vietri Lastra white and gray for the every day and Waterford Colleen Essence for our gorgeous crystal, which although extremely fancy and breakable, I will probably insist on using every day... particularly for 'ritas).

We rounded out the registry with stops at Sur La Table for some Le Creuset ware, Pottery Barn for every day flatware and glasses and decor and blankets and goodies, Crate and Barrel for bedding (which we have now discovered is discontinued... boooo... back to the drawing board) and other miscellany. We still have a few things to add to our wishlist... towels, sheets, silver, some pretty dresses (teehee).

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Maine Idea

There was nothing about our jaunt to Maine that I didn't love. From sleeping in on heated mattress pads, to stuffing myself with lobster, to gallivanting around the coastline with my fiance, to living in silly hats, our vacation was ideal. Here are a few shots from the trip...